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Microsoft Teams to have Cortana integration, other features

Inline message translation would allow Microsoft Teams participants to automatically translate messages in channels and chat messages

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Microsoft's new Surface products include 1st-ever headphones. Wikimedia Commons
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  • Microsoft will soon reveal new features
  • The new feature will include Cortana
  • It will work as a rival to platform Slack

With Microsoft Teams completing one year this week, the company is set to unveil new features, including Cortana integration and inline message translation for Teams — the company’s answer to business communication service rival Slack.

Microsoft's Cortana will be answer to rival, Slack.
Microsoft’s Cortana will be answer to rival, Slack.

“This week marks the first anniversary of the worldwide launch of Microsoft Teams. Today, 2,00,000 organisations in 181 markets and 39 languages use Teams,” Microsoft wrote in a blog post late on Monday.

The added integration with Cortana’s digital voice assistance could give Microsoft an edge in its battle with Slack as the importance of voice-based computing in the workplace and within business productivity applications grows.

Also Read: Microsoft Surface Pro Now Available In India

“Will enable you to easily make a call, join a meeting, or add other people to a meeting in Teams using spoken, natural language. This functionality will extend to IP phones and conference room devices,” the company added.

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Cortana will have inline messaging facilities, etc. Wikimedia

Other features that would be rolled out throughout the year include Cloud recording, background blur on video, proximity detection for Teams Meetings and mobile sharing in meetings. Inline message translation would allow Microsoft Teams participants to automatically translate messages in channels and chat messages. IANS

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Microsoft To Acquire Conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The acquisition of Semantic Machines in May brought a revolutionary new approach to conversational AI

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Microsoft acquires conversational AI and bot development firm. Pixabay

Microsoft has announced to acquire a conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) and bot development company XOXCO for an undisclosed sum.

Texas-based XOXCO has been paving the way in conversational AI since 2013 and was responsible for the creation of Howdy, the first commercially available bot for Slack that helps schedule meetings.

“It also developed Botkit which provides the development tools used by hundreds of thousands of developers on GitHub. Over the years, we have partnered with XOXCO and have been inspired by this work,” said Lili Cheng, Corporate Vice President, Conversational AI at Microsoft on Thursday.

Conversational AI is quickly becoming a way in which businesses engage with employees and customers — from creating virtual assistants and redesigning customer interactions to using conversational assistants to help employees communicate and work better together.

According to Gartner, “by 2020, conversational artificial intelligence will be a supported user experience for more than 50 percent of large, consumer-centric enterprises”.

The Microsoft Bot Framework, available as a service in Azure and on GitHub, today supports over 360,000 developers.

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A sign for Microsoft is seen on a building in Cambridge. VOA

“With this acquisition, we are continuing to realise our approach of democratising AI development, conversation and dialog, and integrating conversational experiences where people communicate,” said Cheng.

Over the last six months, Microsoft has made several strategic acquisitions to accelerate the pace of AI development.

The acquisition of Semantic Machines in May brought a revolutionary new approach to conversational AI.

In July, it acquired Bonsai to help reduce the barriers to AI development by combining machine teaching, reinforcement learning and simulation.

Also Read- YouTube Premium Service Expands to 7 New Countries

In September, Microsoft acquired Lobe, a company that has created a simple visual interface empowering anyone to develop and apply deep learning and AI models quickly, without writing code.

“The acquisition of GitHub in October demonstrates our belief in the power of communities to help fuel the next wave of bot development,” Microsoft said. (IANS)